It was the second round of the 2A State Playoffs and the West Bolivar Eagles showed just what playoff defense is all about as they shutout the Mustangs 25-0 to improve to 10-3 on the year and 7-1 at home. Mantachie ends their season at 10-5.
The Eagles smothered Mustang ball carriers and receivers all night making nearly impossible to move the football.
"The effort was there for us tonight. Our kids came out and they were excited to play. We really got after it tonight on defense. Offensively the line came out and sustained blocks longer and we were able to fire off the ball and move it pretty good," said Eagles Head Coach Joac Williams.
The Eagles received big games from seniors Deguadereck Rice and Ladarius Tucker as they led the West Bolivar defense.
Rice had two interceptions in the win and Tucker had a strip fumble return for a 60-yard touchdown.
Mantachie started the game with a promising drive, but things went south when
Rice intercepted a pass from Dustin Carrell and returned the ball 41 yards to the Mustangs' 25-yard line.
The interception put the in range and following three runs from Lenardo Brown the team was in business at the four-yard line.
On the next play Brown maneuvered around the right side for the score, but a holding penalty negated the touchdown and backed the Eagles up to the 14-yard line.
Not shaken by the penalty, West Bolivar quarterback Tyshawn Conway dropped back and connected with Rice for the score with 5:25 left in the first. Tucker added the point after for a 7-0 Eagles lead.
On the Mustangs next possession disaster struck again as Carrell was intercepted by Dekeenan Boyd who returned it 50-yards for the touchdown with 3:28 remaining in the first. The kick after was no good, but the Eagles now led 13-0.
The Eagles defense forced a punt on the Mustangs next possession and took over at the 46-yard line.
The Eagles put together a strong drive that fell over into the second quarter. Big runs from Brown pushed the Eagles down to 15-yard line, but and incompletion, a delay of game penalty and runs for loss led to a fourth and 16 from the 21-yard line.
Williams decided to go for it and Conway connected with Boyd for what would have been a touchdown, but Boyd caught the ball with hid left foot on the out of bounds line to turn the ball over on downs.
The Eagles defense was stout again and forced another punt giving the ball to West Bolivar on the 50-yard line.
This time Conway used Brown as a receiver on a screen pass that went for 23 yards. On the next play Brown broke free for a 19-yard run. Two short runs from Brown put the Eagles in good position and on the next play the senior running back punched it in from one yard out with 3:57 left in the second. The kick was no good but West Bolivar led 19-0, which would be the score at halftime.
In the second half it was Tucker who put the Eagles on the board again as he stripped the ball from Mantachie's Andrew Malone and raced 60-yards for the score with 7:05 left in the third. The kick attempt failed again, but the Eagles led 25-0 for what proved to be the final score of the night.
Brown finished the night with 112 yards on 30 carries with a touchdown, Conway completed 4-of-13 passes for 76 yards with a touchdown and Rice caught three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Larry Walker led the defense with 13 tackles, Tucker had 12 tackles with a fumble return touchdown, Rice had two tackles and two interceptions and Boyd had an interception return for a touchdown.
The Eagles will now face Calhoun City on the road in the third round at 7 p.m. Friday. Calhoun City (10-3) blasted Walnut Friday 43-6.